Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oh, I Wanted That Pound!!!

<---Which is why I probably SHOULDN'T have had THAT last night!  Oh, well...I got a loss this week.  Ten days out of the gym because of my silly knees, and I got a 1 pound loss.  I'll take it.  Two was within my reach, though.  I had it until last night...and then I ate it away!

Ever trip yourself up that way?  Maybe one day I'll learn not to do that.  But honestly, I haven't had ice cream in forever...and I wanted that bowl.  It was a SMALL bowl...much smaller than in this picture.  It was just bad timing knowing that I was going to post my weight today.  Should've waited until tonight!  Hahaha!  Oh, and learn!  But I'm back in the gym as of tonight, so I'm sure that pound will be MINE before long!

Hope you have a great week this week.  I'm looking forward to one, too.  Feels good to get back to my normal routine, including writing blog posts!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Building Fences...

One of the things that's pretty core to who I am as a person is that I reflect on things that happen to me to make sense of them and determine what impact those things will have in my life.  Once of the ways that I best reflect and process information is in writing.  It's one of the reasons that this blog exists, in fact, because putting words to the thoughts that run through my head helps me determine whether my life is on the track I want it to be or not.  It's my own personal form of evaluation, creativity, and expression.  The fact that it benefits others astounds me, humbles me, and feeds another essential need in my life ~ to care for and help others in whatever way I can.

Being transparent in this blog is essential because that's the only way I feel I can be true to who I am.  I make sense of the world by writing about it, by taking things that happen to me and mulling them around in my mind and then spilling them out of my fingers as the words and ideas in this blog.  At times, that has offended others, for which I am sorry.  However, most of the feedback I have received from people who read this is that it helps them to hear about my successes, but even more about my struggles and failures.  For as wonderful as that feels to hear, though, being transparent like this has some decided disadvantages.  It opens me up and makes me very vulnerable to being hurt by people who don't "get" me.  It allows people who know little about me to make judgments that are less than flattering, which also hurts.

It has been suggested to me that I consider being a little less transparent, intentionally keep some things to myself in order to avoid offending others and more importantly to avoid getting hurt.  "Build fences" is a policy that one of my most trusted and valued friends suggested I adopt in my life after a horribly painful week emotionally (and physically...but that has little to do with the events of the week and everything to do with osteoarthritis in my knees!)   The trouble is, I'm not sure that I can.  And honestly, I'm not really even sure that I want to.

I honestly believe that one of the reasons I have finally been successful in losing weight after years and years of failures is that I AM transparent and vulnerable.  I'm honest about this journey and I don't keep it private.  I publish my actual weight on this blog every Sunday padding the number to make it look better.  I don't hide things, and that makes me very accountable to my friends and family.  Some of my best suggestions about fitness and eating in a more healthy manner have come from people who know what I'm aiming for because I'm up front about it and very open to improvement.  Building fences to me means that I'd lose that kind of opportunity to grow myself, as well as losing the opportunity to let people in on my journey so they can benefit from it, too.

I have to do some real thinking about this suggestion from my friend.  Building fences might very well ensure that I don't have another week like this one...but it might also require me to make changes that could hurt me even more...that could potentially slow my journey...that don't feel like who I am.  I'll let you know how my thinking is going...unless I really DO put up some walls, in which case, I guess my silence will speak for me...LOL!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Body Is Fighting Against Me??? Doesn't Matter...I WIN This One!

So, according to this week's New England Journal of Medicine, people who have dieted their way to a significant weight loss are still very much at risk for a weight regain.  In essence, this clinical study asserts that the bodies of obese people work AGAINST them instead of for them in maintaining a weight loss.  Hormones in the bloodstream that are responsible for suppressing or enhancing appetite are at elevated levels for increasing appetite in people who have lost more than 10% of their body weight.

As of this morning, the scale read 243.  I'm back to 85 pounds gone after being stuck at 83 pounds for the past several weeks.  That is a 26% weight loss in the past 18 months.  More than double that 10% loss the people in the study experienced. And I've got news for the hormones that are apparently running rampant in my body, encouraging my appetite to increase so I can regain all this weight....


I REFUSE to yield to a bigger appetite, just because there may or may not be hormones encouraging me to eat so I can regain the weight ("homeostasis" according to this article).  If I have to fight my own body until the day I leave this earth, I will. 

NOTHING...ABSOLUTELY NOTHING tastes as good as being thinner feels.

So there!  Ha!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Yup...I Went Here!

I went to a funeral yesterday for a lovely woman who I have known and enjoyed for the past 30 years.  Her daughters and I are good friends and Grandma Jean has been a role model and mentor in my life for many, many years.  She was well loved by all who knew her, as evidenced by the tremendous number of people who attended her funeral and the meal afterwards.

For those that aren't familiar with "Baptist" funerals, the way they go is that you say your goodbyes to the dearly departed, cry a little, laugh a little, and then EAT...a LOT!!!  Funerals + Friends = FOOD!  A decidedly bad equation for someone like me working on a new, healthier lifestyle! That picture over there is the actual table of food that Grandma Jean's friends provided for the meal after her funeral.  I Photoshopped the picture a bit because I'm learning how to play around with effects (that one is called "soft focus" in case you're interested!), but also because if I hadn't, what you'd have seen would perhaps stun you.  The gymnasium at the church had a row of tables down its length, and on those tables were plates, aluminum pans, casserole dishes, and crock pots FILLED with delightful, delicious food.  Ham, roast beef, pasta, salads, fried chicken, roasted pork, biscuits, and enough deviled eggs to make your head spin lined the length of this spread.  And then there was the dessert table!  Pies, cakes, cookies, brownies...a true sugar fest!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Looking Like I Need Some Cortisone...

Yeah.  I don't like needles so much.  But this one will be worth it! At least I hope it will. 

As I'm writing this, I'm sitting in my recliner with my right knee elevated and iced.  At some point yesterday...while I was sitting at an all day retreat with my worship ministry buddies at knee decided to crap out again.  And by "crap out" what I mean is that there are currently sharp, shooting pains starting right under my kneecap and traveling up and down my leg.  HUGELY painful.  And frankly, very frustrating.  If I hurt myself running or working out...or had some amazing story to go with the pain, that'd be one thing.  But to be SITTING in a chair and just randomly have this degree of pain???  No fun, friends.  Not at all!!

The last time I went to my knee doctor, he gave me a plan for how we are going to manage my pain until it's time to have my knee replacement surgery sometime after I'm 50 years old...and about 100 pounds lighter.  The plan is to have multiple cortisone injections for the next 6 years or so as I need them to get through the pain of knees that are barely functional because of the arthritis that has degenerated the joints.  He injected my left knee in August.  Seems like now it's time for the right one.  It's crapped out on me too many times in the past 3 weeks.  I need this pain to go away...because I've still got goals to reach that I can't do with this much pain in my right knee!

That picture up there used to scare me.  Just imagining a huge needle going into the most painful part of my body and injecting it with a bunch of thick, uncomfortable-feeling fluid is enough to make me queasy (and I apologize if I just did that to you, too!).  And really, I still don't LIKE getting the injection...but ANYTHING that takes away this nasty pain is worth it!!!  For the next 6 years or so, this is going to be my life.

So, I'm hoping that when I take tomorrow off work to rest this silly knee, the doctor can see me...and take the edge of this pain by shooting me up with cortisone.  It's only a temporary fix, I know, but it'll do for right now.  I need some pain relief!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It Really IS Mind Over Matter...

A while back in this blog, I talked about finding a new "default"...a new normal that I could revert to when my life gets stressful and I don't want to do the things I know I should do. 

Today has been one of those days.  Really, this school year feels a whole lot like it's going to be one of those years!  Don't get me wrong...I love my class. Truly, I do.  But this particular group of 10 year olds is really making my best become a lot better. They are not a group where OK is good enough...I have to be on my "A Game" every day, and that's so tiring.  I don't mind that...not at all.  It comes with the job.  But it IS stressful.  Today in particular was highly stressful. 

I got home from work and the stress increased about tenfold because my kitchen exploded all over the place.  Seems like I'm the only one around here who is willing to do dishes and clean messes in that room.  Even ones I don't make.  It's like these boys are allergic to that dishwasher! So, after dealing with the dishes and mixing the meatloaf to put in the oven, I sat down to rest before going to the gym.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ever Get Something You Really Didn't Deserve? I Did!

I had a tough week last week.  A flare up of my knee injury kept me out of the gym for much of the week.  Only 2 days of working out and lots of sitting on my backside while I rested the knees and hoped for better days.

Better days did finally arrive.  My knees are much better today, and I went back to the gym tonight. Got a good workout, pretty much pushing myself with a normal intensity for me.  That was surprising enough.  But what happened this morning was really a HUGE surprise!

When I stepped on the scale this morning, I really expected a weight gain.  Or at the best, perhaps I'd maintain the weight from the day before.  When you eat like I did this weekend and don't exercise, you come to expect that you're going to see the scale go up.  I was prepared for it and had already planned what I was going to do differently today so that I could recoup the gain and start losing again.  So imagine my surprise when I got on the scale...and it went down a pound and a half!

I was stunned.  So I weighed myself again.  Sure enough, I got the same result.  I lost 1 1/2 pounds this weekend pretty much doing NOTHING.

Did I deserve to lose weight?  Not at all.  I didn't completely overeat, but I ate more than I know was needed for maintaining my weight.  I didn't emotionally or mindlessly eat.  I used good weight loss  strategies, like using small plates, eating small portions.  But I didn't drink much water and I ate often.  Little bits each time, but often.  I honestly expected about a 2-3 pound gain...not a loss!  But it didn't happen that way.  And I'm just so grateful!  I didn't deserve a weight loss this week, but I'll take it.  And I'll be grateful.

I went ahead and followed my plan to change up my eating habits and drink more water today.  I figured that the next time the scale goes down, it'll be because I worked for it!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Attitude...It's Not a Little Thing. It's EVERYTHING!!!

I'm sitting at home this morning instead of working hard on an arc trainer or a treadmill or a bike.  That's why I have a lot of time to write this blog post this morning.  Because I'm sitting.  And honestly, I began this day with a very poor attitude...because I'm sitting...not walking, not working out.

But on my television right now is the Baltimore Running Festival.  While they show the runners out there on a gorgeous, crisp autumn morning winding their way through the streets of Baltimore, they are telling inspiring stories of why some of those people are running the 5K, half, or full marathons.  The Baltimore Marathon has become a prestigious affair for runners over the past 11 years.  Of course, there are elite runners that are dominating the field.  But for me, the far more compelling stories are the ones like mine.  People who had NO REASON to believe they'd ever be running any distance, and yet they are out there and doing it anyway!  They've kicked cancer.  They've battled weight and other health issues.  They've committed to serving others and are running this to raise money.  You name it...they've got their reasons, each of them of vital importance.  These runners are passionate about this event.

That's when it came to me.  Attitude isn't just a little thing.  It's not just a positive outlook that makes us happier along the way.  It's truly EVERYTHING.  Everything.  Once we realize that it's our ATTITUDE that determines our outcome, we become powerful, unstoppable forces.  Those runners have learned this lesson in their own lives.  And now they are teaching it to all of us.

So what is the lesson?  Here's how I see it...

When you BELIEVE you can!  Success in any endeavor begins with your head and your heart.  BELIEVE that you are able, and your actions, your intentions, your energy all fall in line behind that belief.  Hold to it tenaciously and refuse to let go of the belief, and you WILL accomplish whatever it is you set out to do.
Life isn't what happens to's what you DO with what happens to you.  You cannot control what comes your way in life, the circumstances that impact you.  But you CAN control your response to the things that happen to you.  That is a powerful choice on your part.  Will you choose to be positive and move forward despite having real reasons to be hurt, angry, and frustrated?  Or instead, will you allow the things that come your way to determine your response and defeat you?

My attitude is my CHOICE, friends.  I don't try to maintain a positive outlook on life because I've got on rose-colored glasses as some of my acquaintances seem to think I do.  I try to maintain a positive attitude because that's WHO I AM.  It's a choice I've made to live out Philippians let my attitude be the same as that of Christ Jesus.  Am I completely successful in that pursuit?  Absolutely not.  Is anyone?  But does that mean I give in and let my attitude be determined by my circumstances?  No way!!!  This is MY one and nothing determines my attitude except for ME.

So, I'm changing my attitude this morning because I can.  I'm resting my knee more willingly, knowing that because I'm resting it today, it will be stronger tomorrow.  The gym will be there when I can safely return to it.  And I will.  There's really no doubt about that at this point in my life.  A year ago...maybe.  But not now.  I'll head back to training when I'm able to do so without further injuring my already failing knees. 

Attitude changes everything.  I believe that.  Do you?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Not again...

I wish I could say that was true...that my knee pain hadn't come back this week.  But I don't lie to you or to myself.  It's back, and it's hurting a bunch!  But really, I do have to say that this time, the knee pain is a bit different.  And here's why...
  • I know my knees well enough to know exactly what's going on inside me.  The torn menisci are really being stupid right now...stabbing, searing, sharp pain that is TRULY un-fun!!!
  • I know enough to REST and ICE my knees when they get to feeling this way, rather than pushing, rather than crying, rather than complaining.  I just have to do the right things for them and this will resolve more quickly.
  • I know that even though I have to take a break from working out for a few days, that if I truly DO rest the knees, I'll be back in the gym soon enough.
So, will any of this knowledge make it easier to walk? won't.  But it will make it easier to get through it.

Well, that and some really sweet pain killers...

Keep me in prayer, my friends...I need it!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Didn't Really Want To...

...but I went to the gym anyway!

And BOY did I get a great workout.

<--- This machine over's AMAZING!

Hope you got a good workout in today...whether you wanted it or not!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Did I REALLY Do That?!?!?!

This morning I didn't have time to catch breakfast at home and still make it to church on time.  Even if I DID have time, I'd have been hard pressed to have a good breakfast at home because we really didn't have a lot of good stuff to choose from.  Never made it to the grocery store yesterday.  So, after the early service, my tummy was GROWLING...clearly hungry.  And I was in a rush to head to another church to watch my friends' children being baptized.  A truly busy morning.   Some days are just like that, I know...but you can do better than I did this morning.  Let me share with you what happened...

Friday, October 7, 2011

What a WEEK!!!

Nope...not me over there.  Don't have long blonde hair!  But I've had that kind of week.   

You might have noticed the lack of blog posts during the week this week...that wasn't a coincidence!  This new group of 10 year olds has me on my toes all day, every day...and this week was no exception.  They are challenging me to be the best I can be on a daily basis...and I'm coming home exhausted from the enormity of the job I have to do.  And honestly, some days, completely beat down by the feeling that I'm not adequate to the task. 

I haven't really felt like I've had a fresh word this week to I haven't.  I've pulled up the blog every night, even started new posts that I later abandoned.  But days and weeks like these cause me to stop and reflect. I've found that re-reading my journey so far is great source of strength and hope to me.  What these posts have reminded me is that I've come a long way. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Really? REALLY???

Yes...that's gooey, yummy, delicious pizza in that picture over there.  And guess where I ran into my nemesis tonight??


TOTALLY unfair and unkind!  I mean, really?!?!  You have box after box of free, incredible-smelling pizza in the lobby that I have to walk through to get to my workout?  Free Pizza Monday on the first Monday of every month?  Wow.  Just...WOW!  And SO not in a good way!

You'll be really glad to know that I RESISTED!!!!  And you may not be surprised to hear that I will NOT be going to the gym on the first Monday of every month!!  If I had known this was gonna be there tonight, I'd have found a different workout tonight, too!  Well...for $9.99 a month I can give up one night.  It's far better to do that than it would be to sabotage myself by trying to workout while smelling one of my very favorite foods just sitting there taunting me!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

No More...

I've made so many wrong, unhealthy decisions in my life.  This journey to a new me has been about revealing them one at a time and then changing them.  But a byproduct of this process has also been dealing with the feelings of shame that go along with those decisions.

Consequences of our wrong choices don't immediately go away in our lives because we commit to better, right, healthy actions.  I am still an obese woman.  And I've lost 85 pounds!  That's humiliating, no matter how you look at it.  I've felt the shame that goes along with being my size, even as I've celebrated the shrinking that's been happening.  But today, something reached me deep in my soul, and I've decided that I'm done with shame.  No more...I'm not allowing it in my life, in my head, in my psyche...whatever you wanna call it.  I'm done with shame.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Little More Gardening...

If you remember from a few months back, I shared with you a post about me not being the world's best gardener.  That's still true.  But my garden's been growing.  And teaching me a few things in the process.

<--- This picture over here is the current size of my rose bush.  Looking really good, isn't it?!  It began as a tiny little thing, and really I haven't done much to it at all, but it has grown.  Oh, I learned my lesson about weeds and have worked to keep the flower bed free from those little invaders.  But I haven't fed the roses anything special or really done anything other than weed pulling, and yet, they're flourishing.  Literally!  So I got to thinking about what my garden is still trying to teach me about life, and I've come up with a few things...


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